RN to MSN programs

Nurses General Nursing



Hi, I'm doing some checking into RN to MSN programs in my area and I was wondering if anyone out there would recommend that program over the RN to BSN program.

Also if you know when did this RN to MSN program come about? Last I knew one had to achieve a bachelors before a Masters, it is my understanding that the BSN is now included with the MSN and can be done in about the same amount of time as a BSN.

If anyone has any experience with this please let me know and also what can you do with an MSN. Possibly teach in a community college.

Thanks !


84 Posts

I am an AD nurse of >25 years. I am 3 semesters away from completing the RN to MSN tract. The advisors in the Nursing department will set up a program, tell you exactly when to take certain courses (I followed this Most of the time...it just didn't ALWAYS fit because of the electives and a few other courses that I WANTED to take)

This is the best thing that I have ever done for ME. I am learning so much. I used to think that I knew alot. But gee whiz, I am amazed about how much I have learned and how much more there is to know. The amount that I thought I knew would fill an Olympic sized swimming pool, which is a respectable amount, HOWEVER.......what I don't know will fill the oceans!! AND, I now know how to do some really coolpowerpoint presentations (I can even and music :-))

After so many years, even though I am still in love with my work, patients and 95% of the staff, I never thought that I would even consider doing anything else. I still think that what ever I do, it will involve patient contact.

But, let me tell you, every single week, every single class, opens my eyes to what is available to me when I am done.

Just last week alone I was approached by 2 different people, one inside my hospital, and one outside the hospital with VERY nice job offers. $40/hour !! and I'm only half way done !!!

The neet thing about this RN to MSN tract is that you bypass a few courses and thereofre can advance to the actual masters level courses a little faster

I have been persuing this since 1994....of course, I took the spring semester off when each of my 2 kids were a senior in high school because it is a busy time and I didn't want to miss a thing.

I know you can't go back, but boy oh boy, I wish I had taken advantage of the tuition reimbursement years sooner!!

Also. The MSN is in Administration or Clinical Specialist (in what ever you want..OR, ER or like me Oncology & Gericatrics.) or you can be an NP, if you want to go that route.

You could be a clin spec in a hospital, be an educator in a hospital, you can be a director of a unit, you can leave bedside health care and go do policy work in your capital or the Nations capital......The sky is the limit!!

What do you want to do?



135 Posts

MKUE, I had alot of the same questions that you had. And KatWright, what a great response! You got me very excited about going back to school! Thanks for the great info!


1,827 Posts


Thank you so much for taking the time to explain that !! Wonderful.

I am so happy for you !.

That is what I want to do too, of course I have to finish the RN first.

At first I thought that one had to do the BSN to get into a MSN program, but I see now that it is included with the MSN degree, that is so neet.

I would like to teach someday, or maybe do public health, something like that.

This is my second career so I'm a late bloomer but I have been in the medical field for several years so I know a little.

I know what you mean about Ocean's of knowledge, I love learning and growing and I think it's a good example for our kids too.

Best of Luck to you !!!



50 Posts


I desired to go into a RN-MSN program before I even completed my Diploma program for RN, but I opted to go into a RN-BSN program after I took a year off.

I worked for a year and decided that I might not want to be a NP or a Nurse Aneth. after actually working as a RN!! I did want to finish the Degree that I had started out to do, so that is why I went to the program I am in now.

I figured that I had awhile to work in the field of Nursing before I decide what I MASTER in and spend the rest of my career in!!

Now that I have been a RN for a little over two years, I am glad that I did not start that MSN program that I was so eager to start BEFORE I even graduated from the Diploma Program.

I truelly encourage you to spend some time with someone in the field of nursing in which you plan to Master. You might end up like me and decide that it is not for you!!!

I am still looking for my cup of tea! I wish you the BEST of luck finding yours!!:) :)


1,827 Posts



Very good advice. I think I know what you mean about that. Right now I have no desire to actually work on a floor for a long time, but that may change once I'm there. Who knows, I may love it.

I guess my long term goal is to contritute to society somehow in nursing and I know that there is something out there for me.

Alot of the young nursing students I hear around me talk about Peds, neonatal, OB, things like that as a long term goal.. That is good for them, but I can't see myself being in that area.

I guess we all choose different paths to reach our goals and I admire you and everyone out there, it's not easy raising a family and going to school, it takes a lot of motivation. I once had a psych instructor say that it is either motivation or stupidity.. she was kidding... it's motivation.

I once knew a hospital clerk who was in her late 40's went into an RN program, she is now well into her 50's and almost head of an OB department and I hear she is very good.

Thanks for the support !!! and advice


84 Posts

A Masters degree is an advanced degree. Period.

When an RN with an AD has been practicing for a few years and decides to return to school, he or she has 2 options.

1) to return and get the BSN. That takes 2 to 3 years and usually includes a health care rotation (public health, hospital or something) Now, my thought was that since I was a nurse already and HAD been working the whole time, Why did I need to experience a clinical rotation?

2) talk to the college counselors about the RN to MSN tract.

It takes 3-4 years, you have an advanced degree and you can do soooooooooooooooooooooo much with it.

If you start at age 30 and you chose option #1, you will be ~33 when you finish, if you choose #2 you will be ~34.......................

#1 has a BSN #2 has a MSN

One thing that has surprised me daily is that there is a zillion things that I can do as a Clinical Specialist (with a concentration on Geriatrics and Oncology) And half of that zillion has NOTHING to do with cancer or the elderly.

Many hospital have tuition reimbursement.......take advantage of it.....let them put you through school.......A BSN is nice but does your hospital pay extra? If so that's great if not keep going.

The TITLE alone opens doors and DEEP pocketbooks.

So I guess the final decision is $50,000 year or 6 figures?

I know it's not about the money, but I will get to do what I love best and get paid nicely.

But before you make a decision, go to the college that you are considering and talk to a PRO, the Nursing counselors ARE nurses (usually PhD) and know their stuff. Let THEM guide you, and advise you. This is a great format for information, but as you see, every person has an idea that works for THEM.

Only YOU can decide whats best for YOU.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.


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